8 questions to ask right from the start when viewing properties

The housing market is still going strong as home hunters turn to buying this winter in Portugal.

If you’re a first-time buyer or don’t have a lot of experience viewing properties before, knowing the right questions to ask up front could help save you time and possibly money.

It’s important to know exactly what you’ll be getting when considering a new home, and to avoid any costly and unexpected surprises along the way.

To give homebuyers a helping hand, mortgage experts at onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk have listed eight questions buyers might ask when viewing a property …

1. How long has the property been on the market?

If the property has been on the market for more than, say, four months, don’t be afraid to ask the agent why they think it isn’t selling. There might be issues that other potential buyers have been able to spot but you haven’t, so it’s important these are reported up front.

It could also be that the property is overpriced causing it to stay on the market for a long time.

2. When do sellers want to move?

This is a very important question to ask when considering purchasing a property. If sellers are caught in a chain, it could lengthen your moving process – potentially for months. If, however, they are not chained, that expectation could drop.

3. In which direction is the property facing?

Having a wonderful terrace in the garden is great – until you find out that there is hardly any sun on it. Ask the agent in which direction the property is facing, to make sure you can make the most of the sunlight.

4. Is the property listed?

As beautiful as the properties listed are, they can also be a nightmare when it comes to the changes you can make. If you come across a listed building that needs a little maintenance, then maybe give yourself a boost, if you are under time or cost constraints.

But if you’ve fallen in love with the property and the necessary work is really urgent, you can try discussing it with your town hall’s planning department.

5. How are the neighbors?

Moving into a property with noisy neighbors can be a nightmare. So be frank and ask bluntly what they look like. You can try to find out if the seller has complained about their neighbors in the past.

6. What is the surroundings like?

Ask questions such as “How are the schools?” Or “Is this a safe area?” “, As well as” How good are the transport links here? Can help you determine if this is the kind of area you see yourself living in for many years.

Even if you don’t plan on having kids anytime soon, having a good school nearby can potentially increase a property’s value.

7. How much does it cost to operate the property?

Knowing the tax brackets, utility costs, and general running costs of the property will help you budget properly and tell you if the home is financially viable for you. Bills and taxes can take a huge chunk of your paycheck each month, so getting a feel for how much you’re likely to be paying on a regular basis is essential.

8. Would owners consider a lower offer?

Some buyers may consider offering a low price at first, especially if the real estate agent knows buyers need to sell quickly. However, the real estate agent may warn you that sellers only accept offers on a particular price.

If you are considering making a low bid, keep in mind that if you go very low it may be seen as too cheeky and the seller may think you are not a serious buyer. This could cause the seller to ignore you completely. So remember to be courageous, but also to be fair.

About Mary Moser

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